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Eye On Boise

Wed., March 20, 2013, 4:26 p.m.

Two competing amendments to HB 206, the charter facilities funding bill…

The two competing amendments to HB 206, the charter school facilities funding bill, include one from Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, to cap the amount that charter schools would receive for facilities at an amount equal to the average that Idaho school districts receive from the Bond Levy Equalization Fund, which this year totaled $17.4 million and was accessed by 58 school districts to match part of their bond payments. It also would make some changes to the "authorizer fees" in the bill, which require charter schools to pay fees to the entity that authorizes them to cover overhead costs; currently, there are only two such entities, the state Charter Commission, or Idaho school districts. The amendment limits those fees to actual costs plus 15 percent.

The next bill that'll be up for amendments, HB 221, which overhauls charter school governance in Idaho, adds additional potential authorizers.

The other amendment to HB 206, from Sen. Branden Durst, D-Boise, would instead allow charter schools to apply for loans for school facilities through the Idaho State Building Authority, which would be empowered to issue bonds for up to a total of $20 million, over a maximum of 30 years.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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